Chris Crosby #7x24Exchange Hyperscale DC + Network Mesh

Chris Crosby gave a thought leadership presentation on “Understanding Hyperscale Campus Compartmentalizations”

One of the great observations Chris discussed is when a redundancy of 2 is not enough. Really need 3. Ideally 5. 


Consider the below network mesh image shows how 2 connections would not be enough.


How do you compartmentalize the stuff that runs on the intermesh network. The below slide goes through the logical and physical elements to support the network mesh.


So What do you do? Chris presents the idea of Intermeshed Networking applied to the physical building.


Consider Chris has spent much of his time in the past building huge data centers while at Digital Realty. In 2011 is when Chris left Digital. Think about how much the data center environment has changed in these 6 years. The physical data center have not changed much for many, but what is in the data center has changed in ways like Network Fabrics.  And now Chris is saying that there are limits to giant buildings that need to be designed for Intermeshed Networking and there are many details in the physical and logical design.

Chris’s summary is something that interestingly are conclusions I have arrived at my own, but haven’t taken the time to write about publicly. 

When you take the Intermesh within the data center it is a logical step to apply it to the portfolio of facilities and how they work in a mesh. 


Here is what a data center network fabric looks like.  This is what data centers are being designed for.


Google Principle Scientist explains a Creative Perspective with Computers

Ted has a talk by Blaise Aguera Y Arcas.

We're on the edge of a new frontier in art and creativity — and it's not human. Blaise Agüera y Arcas, principal scientist at Google, works with deep neural networks for machine perception and distributed learning. In this captivating demo, he shows how neural nets trained to recognize images can be run in reverse, to generate them. The results: spectacular, hallucinatory collages (and poems!) that defy categorization. "Perception and creativity are very intimately connected," Agüera y Arcas says. "Any creature, any being that is able to do perceptual acts is also able to create."

one of the best parts in the closing which Blaise has gotten good at given this is his 3rd TED talk.

In closing, I think that per Michelangelo, I think he was right; perception and creativity are very intimately connected. What we've just seen are neural networks that are entirely trained to discriminate, or to recognize different things in the world, able to be run in reverse, to generate. One of the things that suggests to me is not only that Michelangelo really did see the sculpture in the blocks of stone, but that any creature, any being, any alien that is able to do perceptual acts of that sort is also able to create because it's exactly the same machinery that's used in both cases.
Also, I think that perception and creativity are by no means uniquely human. We start to have computer models that can do exactly these sorts of things. And that ought to be unsurprising; the brain is computational.
And finally, computing began as an exercise in designing intelligent machinery. It was very much modeled after the idea of how could we make machines intelligent. And we finally are starting to fulfill now some of the promises of those early pioneers, of Turing and von Neumann and McCulloch and Pitts. And I think that computing is not just about accounting or playing Candy Crush or something. From the beginning, we modeled them after our minds. And they give us both the ability to understand our own minds better and to extend them.

Building Great Products, explained by Apple's Tim Cook

Building great products is hard.  And it can be hard to explain in a few minutes.  Tim Cook in January 2009 as interim CEO said the following in an earnings call.

We believe that we’re on the face of the Earth to make great products, and that’s not changing.

We’re constantly focusing on innovating.

We believe in the simple, not the complex.

We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution.

We believe in saying no to thousands of projects so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us.

We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot.

And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change.

And I think, regardless of who is in what job, those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well.

- Tim Cook, Acting Apple CEO, January 2009 FQ1 2009 Earnings Call

Two different ways to run development, Exposure to customers or not

I had a good time in Bend, Oregon this week because in addition to Great Skiing, Good Friends, Lots of Breweries I visited the HQ for a software company.  I had two hours reviewing their technology and what our technology was, the players in the market, and various opportunities.  When I went in to the meeting I didn’t want to spend time showing software for a variety of reasons.  Then it hit me, the first time someone uses a software service is huge insight to be shared and learned from.  If I am the only one in the room with the user, then I am the weak link to get the developers to understand.  My ability to communicate the issues, perspectives, questions is  limited.  Even if the whole meeting was video recorded, the inability of developers to drill in to an area ask more questions, etc.

I made the mistake of sharing this idea that Developers need to get out talk to customers more with an executive who had a meeting with Bill Gates (over 15 years ago when it was probably not the right time to bring this up). I was in the meeting, there were only 4 of us, and this idea went no where.  Bill’s response was something like “That’s what we have program managers for.  Their job is to talk to customers.”   Which makes sense from one perspective, and if program managers are perfect communicators of customers intent and developers have perfect listening skills.  Yeh, the world is not perfect.

Clearly, something in our process had broken— the desire for quality had gone well beyond rationality. But because of the way production unfolded , our people had to work on scenes without knowing the context for them— so they overbuilt them just to be safe. To make things worse, our standards of excellence are extremely high, leading them...

Catmull, Ed; Wallace, Amy (2014-04-08). Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration (Kindle Locations 3041-3043). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

So there are basically two different views on Developers.  Should you have the developers talk to customers (some, not all) or should you leave the job of customer interaction to others and pass on specifications to developers?

I guess in depends on your goals.  If you want to make the safe choice, then it is probably best to have developers focus on writing code and leave the job of interfacing with customers to teams who have done this in the past.  On the other hand, if you are looking to build something innovative and disruptive, and you want to discover things that others have missed then having your development team interacting with customers can be a strategy to get something different created.

it appears to be a safe choice, and the desire to be safe— to succeed with minimal risk— can infect not just individuals but also entire companies. If we sense that our structures are rigid, inflexible, or bureaucratic, we must bust them open— without destroying ourselves in the process.

Catmull, Ed; Wallace, Amy (2014-04-08). Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration (Kindle Locations 2991-2993). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.